Cereal FAQ (Part I)

Q: Who eats rice? How do these figures break down by region?

A: Most rice is eaten in the countries where it is grown. About 90% of the world crop is entirely eaten in Asia.
  • Asia (416,459,000 t)
  • Latin America ( 17,188,000 t)
  • Africa ( 15,741,000 t)
  • Europe ( 2,550,000 t)
  • USA ( 2,704,000 t)
  • Australia ( 215,000 t)
  • Rest of the world ( 636,000 t)
  • World total (457,45 1,000 t)

Q: Which countries are the leading producers of rice?

A: In 1994, the top 10 rice producers were:
  1. China (178,251,000 t)
  2. India (118,400,000 t)
  3. Indonesia (46,245,000 t)
  4. Bangladesh (27,537,000 t)
  5. Vietnam (22,500,000 t)
  6. Myanmar (19,057,000 t)
  7. Thailand (18,447,000 t)
  8. Japan (14,976,000 t)
  9. Brazil (10,582,000 t)
  10. Philippines (10,150,000 t)

Q: What countries are the leading consumers of rice?

A: From data gathered in 1992, the following are the leading consumers of rice:
  • China (166,990,000 t)
  • India ( 94,756,000 t)
  • Indonesia ( 39,994,000 t)
  • Bangladesh ( 26,266,000 t)
  • Vietnam ( 15,726,000 t)
  • Myanmar ( 13,120,000 t)
  • Japan ( 11,505,000 t)
  • Thailand ( 11,216,000 t)
  • Brazil ( 9,419,000 t)
  • Philippines ( 8,680,000 t)

Q: Who is the biggest exporter of rice?

A: The biggest exporter is Thailand, with 4.989 million tons a year. Second is the United States, with 2.680 million tons, and the third is Vietnam with 1.765 million tons (1993 data).

Q: What is a basmati rice?

A: Basmati rice is a type of aromatic rice, grown mostly in India and Pakistan. It is renowned for its long, slender shape that elongates rather than expands in width when it is cooked. The word basmati means "queen of fragrance," and the rice is distinguished by its aroma.

Q: What is brown rice?

A: It is a rice with the hull removed and the bran layers left clinging to the grains. The color is tan, and the flavor is nutty with a slight chewy texture. It is slightly more nutritious than enriched white rice, with twice as much fiber, five times the vitamin E, and three times the magnesium.

Q: What is glutinous rice?

A: It is a sticky, waxy, or sweet rice most often used in desserts. The grains are either round or long and have a high percentage of amylopectin, the starch that makes the grains stick together when cooked.

Q: What about jasmine rice?

A: It is an aromatic long-grain rice originally grown only in Thailand and is distinguished by its fragrance and a water milling process that leaves the grains silken to the touch. The grains are similar in size to long-grain rice but cook moist and tender like a medium-grain rice.

Q: What is Texmati rice?

A: Sometimes called American basmati, Texmati rice is a hybrid of aromatic rice and regular long-grain varieties. Its cooking properties are similar to basmati: light texture and nutty flavor and aroma.

Q: What is Valencia rice?

A: It is a medium-grain rice grown in the province of Valencia, Spain, and available on a limited basis in specialty food shops. It is a soft rice that soaks up flavors but retains a partially firm central core when cooked.

Q: What nutrients can you get by eating rice?

A: Rice is high in complex carbohydrates, contains almost no fat, is cholesterol free, and is low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, niacin, iron, riboflavin, vitamin D, calcium, and fiber. It is a fair source of protein containing all eight amino acids.